Baby Names

Birth certificate and spelling rules

Hello.  My husband and have been discussing the pronunciation of our daughter's name and the need for an accent mark.  I believe that in English you are not allowed to use an accent mark on birth certificates or SS cards, does anyone know this to be a fact?  Where can I find this info.? If so, can I still spell it unofficially with the accent mark so people can pronounce it correctly?  We live in NJ (if it matters).
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Re: Birth certificate and spelling rules

  •  I would go to your department of records or local SS office and talk to them in person orI'd call the vital records dept. of your county.. or the health dept. sometimes processes birth certificates and vital records. They are the ones that print the records, not the hospital. Best Wishes. ;-)
  • My DD has Ren? as a MN

    birth certificate = Rene'

    on her SS card = Rene

    I'm not sure how other accent marks look

    I just now checked this because of your post. 

    M/C 04-1999 Missed M/C 04-20-2005 M/C 11-09-2006 DD - Sable Ren
  • I am not sure of the legality of printing accent marks on official SSA records, but you are certainly able to do so unofficially and on her school records. My last name was hyphenated (long story, but my mother gave me her maiden name for my last name, then changed her mind and added her married name when I was just a month or so old). On my elementary school records, my last name was B*****, on my junior high records it was B*****-L****, and then in high school and college I dropped the first name altogether and went by just L****.

    The changes caused problems for me only because I have often had to explain the change, but never legal problems, not even on my taxes. I'm sure something as simple as adding an accent would not be a problem at all.

  • I never thought of this. My mn is Renee with a mark over the next to last e but I don't know if it appears that way on my birth certificate. It isn't on my SS card or passport. This will be my daughters mn also.

  • My mom worked in NICU at a state hospital in Ohio and they did not allow any marks other than letters.  That really screwed the mothers who named their babies el-a (eldasha) or m'ellee (emily) and so many other stupid names.  I don't know if it's different per state but I assume it would be the same rule for SS cards since that's federal.
  • You may use an accent mark on a birth certificate, but any legal forms people will just type it without the accent mark. It's a huge HASSLE to put in an accent mark on legal forms and there are usually STACKS of legal forms for poor office workers to do.
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  • Like a couple of other women on here, my middle name is Renee'. The accent is on my birth cert, but not on my SS card.

    Honestly though, I wouldn't use an accent if not completely necessary. I've always thought the one on my middle name was silly, and while I always use it when I write down my name, I never correct anyone when they don't. I think accents can just be excessive.


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  • I live in NJ. I had a period in my name and  found out the hard way. In NJ you cannot have an accent of any kind on your SS Card. That includes . , ' etc. Also it gets very confusing when you child becomes an adult and writes things out with the accent only to have it not match official records (thats how I found out).

    I would spell it how you want, just teach your child that it legally is not there. I mean think about some people go by their middle names all together but they make sure they put their 'legal' name on things. No big deal :)

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